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Archive for Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eudora High standout tests soccer skills on international stage

July 15, 2009

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Eudora senior Matt Jump has starred on the Eudora soccer team the past two years, and now is getting the opportunity to play in the Gothia Cup International Soccer Tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Jump is playing for 365 Sports USA’s U-19 team. Before heading overseas, Jump traveled July 9 to Raleigh, N.C., for three days of boot camp. The Gothia Cup is the world’s largest youth soccer tournament and has several age groups and nearly 30,000 athletes participating.

“I’m really excited, but I’m also really nervous,” said Jump before leaving town.

Jump was a second-team all-state performer for the Cardinals last year, and Eudora soccer coach Gunar Harmon wrote a letter of recommendation during his quest to join the national team.

“It’s a very good opportunity for him,” Harmon said. “I grew up in Germany, and playing teams in the international tournament is a great thing from my experience. And this will really go a long way to opening his eyes to what soccer is. He’s a very dedicated soccer player and he deserves to have this experience.”

The actual tournament began Monday with the preliminary rounds. Each team will play a minimum of four matches and could play more depending on which teams advance. The Gothia Cup finals will be played Saturday, and Jump will return to the United States on July 19.

Jump has never been out of the country and said he was looking forward to sightseeing and experiencing a new culture.

“On the Internet, I’ve seen a lot of pictures of it and it looked really nice,” he said. “I can’t wait to get some pictures and bring them back and show my family and friends.”

Jump said while overseas, he wanted to see how well he competes against the elite soccer players of the world. He also wants to learn a few tips that he could bring back to the Eudora soccer team.

“I’m really excited to see the scope of it and then to know where I stand skill-wise,” Jump said. “A lot of our team needs help in certain things, and I’m hoping to learn a lot so I can teach something to our younger players.”

Harmon added that he wouldn’t mind if Jump, a soft-spoken kid, came back a little more vocal.

“He’s a nice, quiet, reserved kid,” Harmon said. “He’s not the glamour senior who’s going to draw attention to himself. And that’s kind of why I think this experience for him, in a personal way, is that he’ll get to see and experience something entirely different about the game of soccer, which he so enjoys. That’s a lifetime of memories. He’ll treasure that.”

Comments

Slowponder 5 years, 1 month ago

Jeff, you might want to double check your facts a bit before you put your story to bed. 1. There is no U-19 division on the boys side this year at the Gothia Cup. The top class is U-18.
2. Each team is guaranteed three games, not four, at Gothia. Each team is placed in a bracket with three other teams. After three games, the first and second place teams advance to the A side, the third place team goes to the B side, and the fourth place team goes home or may arrange a pickup game against another 4th place team without any refs. 3. Of the 1505 teams from 61 countries registered at www.gothiacup.se, not one team is named "365 Sports USA". There are a number of teams in the U-18 boys bracket, which includes 136 teams in 34 brackets, named "USA Atlantic" and then some weather term like thunder, heat, cyclones, or hurricanes. 4. If you want to bet on who will win, the odds-on favorites are V.Frolunda IF from Sweden or ASA from Liberia. 5. It appears that 365 Sports organizes tours in basketball, volleyball, soccer and other sports. Visit their web site first, before you call this a national team. The Dallas Texans and NPAA may take offense to such a label. 5. Matt will have a great time, particularly with the opening ceremonies this past Monday night. When he gets back, interview him about his Monday night or his Friday night at the Liseberg disco. You will be able to write about Monday night, but not Friday night. . . . .

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